Around these parts when we talk about the dynamism and explosive growth of the apps economy, we note that this is an industry that didn’t even exist four years ago. Which means that the last time the Republicans and Democrats gathered for their nominating conventions, very few people were carrying smartphones loaded with these newfangled things called apps.
And look at us now. Convention-goers and –watchers at the Republican National Convention this week are using an AT&T-developed app—Tampa 2012—to keep track of the schedule (which I’m sure they appreciate, given how the schedule has changed due to Isaac), plus find places to eat and drink, find taxis, go shopping, watch the weather (another unexpected bonus), and play in a convention scavenger hunt with QR codes. Those who aren’t in Tampa can watch live streams of the convention and plug-in to social media.
At next week’s Democratic National Convention, there will be a similar app built by AT&T that contains Charlotte-specific information. And Microsoft built an app for the Democrats that helps to streamline convention voting via kiosks on the convention floor. (MS is the DNC’s “official innovation provider,” and also made software contributions to several Charlotte-based non-profits.)
We’ve got additional suggestions for folks on the ground in Tampa and Charlotte:
Want to brush up on your U.S. geography? Download Stack the States, an app wildly popular with both kids and adults alike made by North Carolina resident Daniel Russell Pinson.
Need to do electoral college math? Try 270 to Win, where you can build your own map for this year, or go back and look at historical EC counts—all the way back to 1789!
Having trouble finding a cab? Just use Uber! Launched just a couple years ago, this app finds certified town cars to bring you to your destination. No cash needed!
Want to share that awesome picture you took of your friend with Chris Christie or Joe Biden? Just use Bump to share your pictures – all you need is the app. Select photo and bump phones – picture shared! No need to email or try to access the password protected wireless or the non-existent signals from the cell towers.
Want to find the best barbecue in Charlotte? The best steak in Tampa? Yelp can help you locate the best local venues.
On a budget? Use the location feature in Living Social’s app to find deals at local restaurants and other places nearby.
Up to the minute information on the convention? National Journal App RE:CON is the place to go for basically everything convention-related.